Publications by authors named "Barbara Basile"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Imagery Rescripting on Guilt-Inducing Memories in OCD: A Single Case Series Study.

Front Psychiatry 2020 30;11:543806. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Associazione Scuola di Psicoterapia Cognitiva (APC-SPC), Rome, Italy.

Background And Objectives: Criticism is thought to play an important role in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and obsessive behaviors have been considered as childhood strategies to avoid criticism. Often, patients with OCD report memories characterized by guilt-inducing reproaches. Starting from these assumptions, the aim of this study is to test whether intervening in memories of guilt-inducing reproaches can reduce current OCD symptoms. The emotional valence of painful memories may be modified through imagery rescripting (ImRs), an experiential technique that has shown promising results.

Methods: After monitoring a baseline of symptoms, 18 OCD patients underwent three sessions of ImRs, followed by monitoring for up to 3 months. Indexes of OCD, depression, anxiety, disgust, and fear of guilt were collected.

Results: Patients reported a significant decrease in OCD symptoms. The mean value on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) changed from 25.94 to 14.11. At the 3-month follow-up, 14 of the 18 participants (77.7%) achieved an improvement of ≥35% on the Y-BOCS. Thirteen patients reported a reliable improvement, with ten reporting a clinically significant change (reliable change index = 9.94). Four reached the asymptomatic criterion. Clinically significant changes were not detected for depression and anxiety.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that after ImRs intervention focusing on patients' early experiences of guilt-inducing reproaches there were clinically significant changes in OCD symptomatology. The data support the role of ImRs in reducing OCD symptoms and the previous cognitive models of OCD, highlighting the role of guilt-related early life experiences in vulnerability to OCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.543806DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7554624PMC
September 2020

Blood pressure-related hypoalgesia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Hypertens 2020 08;38(8):1420-1435

Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome.

Objective: Spontaneous or experimentally induced high blood pressure (BP) is associated with reduced pain perception, known as BP-related hypoalgesia. Despite its clinical implications, such as the interference with early detection of myocardial infarction in 'at risk' groups, the size of the association between high BP and pain has not yet been quantified. Moreover, the distinct association between high BP and physiological or psychological components of pain has not yet been considered so far. The aim of this study was to overcome this gap by performing separate meta-analyses on nociceptive response versus quantifiable perceptual measures of pain in relation to high BP.

Methods: PubMed and Web of Knowledge databases were searched for English language studies conducted in humans. Fifty-nine studies were eligible for the analyses. Pooled effect sizes (Hedges' g) were compared. Random effect models were used. Results show that higher BP is significantly associated with lower nociceptive response (g = 0.38; k = 6) and reduced pain perception, assessed by quantifiable measures (g = 0.48; k = 59).

Results: The association between BP and pain perception, derived from highly heterogeneous studies, was characterized by significant publication bias. BP assessment, pain assessment, site of pain stimulation, percentage of female participants in the sample, and control for potential confounders were significant moderators.

Conclusion: Current meta-analytic results confirm the presence of BP-related hypoalgesia and point towards the need for a better understanding of its underlying mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002427DOI Listing
August 2020

Early maladaptive schemas in overweight and obesity: A schema mode model.

Heliyon 2019 Sep 17;5(9):e02361. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Association of Cognitive Psychology (APC), School of Cognitive Psychotherapy (SPC), Rome, Italy.

Obesity is a growing burden in our societies and, although different kinds of treatments are effective in the short time, weight gain often reoccurs in the longer period. One possible explanation might rely on the little comprehension of obese maladaptive schemas, as developed from early life experiences, which might interfere with treatment enduring efficacy. The aim of this study was to investigate early maladaptive schemas, their associated current schema-modes and dysfunctional coping strategies in overweight and obese individuals (N = 48). Results showed that overweight and obese subjects reported more severe insufficient self-control, abandonment, dependence and subjugation schemas, and actual schema-modes (i.e., impulsive and vulnerable child, detached protector), compared against normal-weight controls (N = 37). As well, the former displayed higher dysfunctional eating habits (i.e., bingeing and bulimic symptoms) and more emotional-avoidant coping strategies. Above all schemas, insufficient self-control predicted higher BMI, binge frequency and bulimic symptoms' severity. Furthermore, avoidant coping mediated between specific maladaptive schemas and frequency of bingeing and bulimic symptoms. Our findings illustrate that overweight and obese display more dysfunctional early maladaptive schemas and schema-modes, compared against normal-weight individuals, exhibiting more emotion-avoidant strategies such as over-eating and bingeing, which might stand for a detached self-soother coping mode. The insufficient self-control schema develops from a lack in self-discipline and an inability to tolerate frustration and might be embodied by the impulsive child mode. A deeper comprehension of schemas and modes, as addressed within the Schema Therapy model, might help to understand dysfunctional personality features that might interfere with the long-lasting efficacy of treatment interventions in obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e02361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6819863PMC
September 2019

Fear processing is differentially affected by lateralized stimulation of carotid baroreceptors.

Cortex 2018 02 14;99:200-212. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy.

Information processing, particularly of salient emotional stimuli, is influenced by cardiovascular afferent signals. Carotid baroreceptors signal the state of cardiovascular arousal to the brain, controlling blood pressure and heart rate via the baroreflex. Animal studies suggest a lateralization of this effect: Experimental stimulation of the right carotid sinus has a greater impact on heart rate when compared to left-sided stimulation. We tested, in humans, whether the processing of emotional information from faces was differentially affected by right versus left carotid afferents. To achieve so, we used an automated neck suction device to stimulate the carotid mechanoreceptors in the carotid sinus (parasympathetic pathway) synchronously with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquisition whilst participants were engaged in an emotional rating task of fearful and neutral faces. We showed that both right and left carotid stimulation (CS) influenced brain activity within opercular regions, although a stronger activation was observed within left insula during right stimulation compared to left stimulation. As regards the processing of fearful faces, right, but not left carotid stimulation attenuated the perceived intensity of fear, and (albeit to a lesser extent) enhanced intensity ratings of neutral faces. Mirroring the behavioural effects, there was a significant expression-by-stimulation interaction for right carotid stimulation only, when bilateral amygdala responses were attenuated to fear faces and amplified to neutral faces. Individual differences in basal heart rate variability (HRV) predicted the extent to which right carotid stimulation attenuated amygdala responses during fear processing. Our study provides unique evidence for lateralized viscerosensory effects on brain systems supporting emotional processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.07.002DOI Listing
February 2018

Effect of parasympathetic stimulation on brain activity during appraisal of fearful expressions.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 Jun 12;40(7):1649-58. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

1] Psychiatry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK [2] Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK.

Autonomic nervous system activity is an important component of human emotion. Mental processes influence bodily physiology, which in turn feeds back to influence thoughts and feelings. Afferent cardiovascular signals from arterial baroreceptors in the carotid sinuses are processed within the brain and contribute to this two-way communication with the body. These carotid baroreceptors can be stimulated non-invasively by externally applying focal negative pressure bilaterally to the neck. In an experiment combining functional neuroimaging (fMRI) with carotid stimulation in healthy participants, we tested the hypothesis that manipulating afferent cardiovascular signals alters the central processing of emotional information (fearful and neutral facial expressions). Carotid stimulation, compared with sham stimulation, broadly attenuated activity across cortical and brainstem regions. Modulation of emotional processing was apparent as a significant expression-by-stimulation interaction within left amygdala, where responses during appraisal of fearful faces were selectively reduced by carotid stimulation. Moreover, activity reductions within insula, amygdala, and hippocampus correlated with the degree of stimulation-evoked change in the explicit emotional ratings of fearful faces. Across participants, individual differences in autonomic state (heart rate variability, a proxy measure of autonomic balance toward parasympathetic activity) predicted the extent to which carotid stimulation influenced neural (amygdala) responses during appraisal and subjective rating of fearful faces. Together our results provide mechanistic insight into the visceral component of emotion by identifying the neural substrates mediating cardiovascular influences on the processing of fear signals, potentially implicating central baroreflex mechanisms for anxiolytic treatment targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2015.10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915246PMC
June 2015

Abnormal functional brain connectivity and personality traits in myotonic dystrophy type 1.

JAMA Neurol 2014 May;71(5):603-11

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy.

Importance: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), the most common muscular dystrophy observed in adults, is a genetic multisystem disorder affecting several other organs besides skeletal muscle, including the brain. Cognitive and personality abnormalities have been reported; however, no studies have investigated brain functional networks and their relationship with personality traits/disorders in patients with DM1.

Objective: To use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the potential relationship between personality traits/disorders and changes to functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) in patients with DM1.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We enrolled 27 patients with genetically confirmed DM1 and 16 matched healthy control individuals. Patients underwent personality assessment using clinical interview and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 administration; all participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Investigations were conducted at the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Santa Lucia Foundation, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, and Azienda Ospedaliera San Camillo Forlanini.

Intervention: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Measures of personality traits in patients and changes in functional connectivity within the DMN in patients and controls. Changes in functional connectivity and atypical personality traits in patients were correlated.

Results: We combined results obtained from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and clinical interview to identify a continuum of atypical personality profiles ranging from schizotypal personality traits to paranoid personality disorder within our DM1 patients. We also demonstrated an increase in functional connectivity in the bilateral posterior cingulate and left parietal DMN nodes in DM1 patients compared with controls. Moreover, patients with DM1 showed strong associations between DMN functional connectivity and schizotypal-paranoid traits.

Conclusions And Relevance: Our findings provide novel biological evidence that DM1 is a clinical condition that also involves an alteration of functional connectivity of the brain. We speculate that these functional brain abnormalities, similarly to frank psychiatric disorders, may account for the atypical personality traits observed in patients with DM1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.130DOI Listing
May 2014

Abnormal processing of deontological guilt in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Brain Struct Funct 2014 Jul 17;219(4):1321-31. Epub 2013 May 17.

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, IRCCS, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179, Rome, Italy.

Guilt plays a significant role in the occurrence and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Two major types of guilt have been identified: one deriving from the transgression of a moral rule (deontological guilt DG), another (altruistic guilt AG), relying on the assumption of having compromised a personal altruistic goal. Clinical evidence suggests that OCD patients are particularly sensitive to DG, but not AG. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we investigated brain response of OCD patients while processing DG and AG stimuli. A previously validated fMRI paradigm was used to selectively evoke DG and AG, and anger and sadness, as control emotions in 13 OCD patients and 19 healthy controls. Patients' behavioral results showed a prominent attitude to experience guilt, compared to controls, while accomplishing task. fMRI results revealed that patients have reduced activation in the anterior cingulate (ACC) and frontal gyrus when experiencing guilt, regardless of its specific type (DG or AG). When separately considering each type of guilt (against each of its control), patients showed decreased activation in the ACC, the insula and the precuneus, for DG. No significant differences were observed between groups when processing AG, anger or sad stimuli. This study provides evidence for an abnormal processing of guilt, and specifically DG, in OCD patients. We suggest that decreased activation may reflect patients' cerebral efficiency, which derives from their frequent exposure to guilty feelings ("neural efficiency hypothesis"). In conclusion, our study confirms a selective abnormal processing of guilt, and specifically DG, in OCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-013-0570-2DOI Listing
July 2014

Preoperative multidetector-row computed tomography scan staging for lymphatic gastric cancer spread.

World J Surg Oncol 2012 Sep 24;10:197. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Department of General Surgery, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Via Forlanini 34, Forlì, Italy.

Background: Multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) is commonly used to stage patients with gastric cancer, even though the technique often shows low specificity for lymph-node involvement.

Methods: In this study, 111 patients with gastric cancer who consecutively underwent MDCT scan followed by radical surgical treatment at our hospital were retrospectively evaluated.

Results: In total, 3632 lymph nodes from 643 lymphatic stations were studied and then correlated with radiological features. Lymph-node size was not always associated with infiltration. Of the 261 lymph-node stations that were not radiologically detected, 60 (22.9%) were infiltrated. There were 108 stations with lymph nodes larger than 10 mm seen on MDCT, of which 67 (62%) had lymphatic invasion. The sensitivity was 32.6%, specificity 90.6%, positive predictive value 62.0%, negative predictive value 74.2%, and accuracy 72.1%. When three lymph nodes, at least one of which was larger than 10 mm, were detected in the same station, infiltration was confirmed with 99% specificity in 93.8% of patients. Moreover, all of the 13 patients in whom three lymph nodes larger than 10 mm were detected in different neighboring stations had lymphatic invasion.

Conclusions: Although presence of lymph nodes greater than 10 mm in size is not, in itself, sufficient to confirm lymphatic invasion, nodal involvement can be hypothesized when associated images are detected by MDCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7819-10-197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3471008PMC
September 2012

Exploration of the relationships between regional grey matter atrophy and cognition in multiple sclerosis.

Brain Imaging Behav 2014 Sep;8(3):378-86

Department of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy.

Cognitive impairment may result in significant disability in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Previous Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies on cognition in MS were mainly based on measures of gross brain involvement. This study, using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), aims to investigate associations between the regional distribution of grey matter (GM) damage and cognitive performance in patients with MS. Eighteen MS patients underwent an extensive neuropsychological battery and MRI, including T2-weighted scans and T1-weighted volumes. A group of 18 healthy individuals were also investigated by MRI and served as controls for the VBM. A cross-sectional analysis was first performed, to assess the pattern of regional GM atrophy in MS patients. Then, the impact of regional GM damage on patients' neuropsychological performance was investigated by multiple regression analyses in the patient group. Correlations between global indexes of brain damage and neuropsychological measures were also assessed for comparison with previous literature. The comparison between MS patients and healthy controls revealed a widespread pattern of regional GM atrophy. Consistent with previous studies, associations were found between neuropsychological scores, and global brain atrophy and T2-lesion volumes. Critically, significant associations were found between scores on the Symbol Digit Modalities test and Long Delay Cued Recall on the California Verbal Learning Test, and regional GM volumes in well localized areas of the prefrontal, parietal, temporal, and insular cortex. This study confirms that global assessments of brain damage correlate with measures of cognitive impairment in MS. Interestingly, VBM contributes to clarify those brain regions that more likely determine the cognitive deficits observed in patients. These findings clarify the pathophysiology of cognitive impairment in MS, and propose measures which could be considered for longitudinal monitoring of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-012-9170-7DOI Listing
September 2014

Direct stimulation of the autonomic nervous system modulates activity of the brain at rest and when engaged in a cognitive task.

Hum Brain Mapp 2013 Jul 27;34(7):1605-14. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

The effect of autonomic perturbation (AP) on the central nervous system functioning is still largely unknown. Using an automated neck suction device to stimulate the carotid mechanoreceptors in the carotid sinus (parasympathetic pathway), operated synchronously with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquisition, we investigated the effects of AP on the activity of the brain at rest and when engaged in a visuo-spatial attention task. ECG was always recorded to index changes in autonomic function. At rest, AP induced increased activation in the insula and in the amygdala, which have been previously associated with the autonomic control and emotion processing, as well as in the caudate nucleus and in the medial temporal cortex, both implicated in cognitive functions. Despite a preserved performance during visuo-spatial attention task, AP induced increased reaction times and a positive modulation on the activation of the right posterior parietal cortex, the occipital cortex, the periaquiductal gray, and nuclei of the brainstem. We speculate that this modulation of brain activity represents, at different anatomical levels, a compensation mechanism to maintain cognitive efficiency under parasympathetic stimulation, which is traditionally considered as the system for energy regain and storage. In conclusion, this study provides the first evidence of a dynamic interaction between AP and higher level functions in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.22013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6870143PMC
July 2013

Damage to the cingulum contributes to Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology by deafferentation mechanism.

Hum Brain Mapp 2012 Jun 21;33(6):1295-308. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, IRCCS, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy.

This study investigates the differential contribution of gray matter (GM) atrophy and deafferentation through white matter (WM) damage in the clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thirty-one patients with probable AD, 23 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI), and 14 healthy subjects underwent MRI scanning at 3T. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess regional GM atrophy in AD and a-MCI patients. Diffusion tensor-MRI tractography was used to reconstruct the cingulum bilaterally, and to quantify, voxel-by-voxel, its fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) (measures of microscopic WM integrity). Atrophy of the cinguli was also assessed by means of jacobian determinants (JD) of local transformations. In AD patients, four clusters of reduced GM were found nearby the cinguli, in the posterior (PCC) and anterior cingulate cortex, and in the hippocampal/parahippocampal areas. Widespread areas of reduced FA and increased MD were found in the cinguli of both, AD and a-MCI patients. A region of macroscopic atrophy was detectable in AD patients only. Strong associations were found between local GM densities in the four identified clusters, and measures of micro- and (to a lesser extent) macroscopic damage of patients' cinguli. Linear regression analyses revealed that MD in the cinguli predicts patients' measures of episodic memory in combination with GM density of hippocampal/parahippocampal areas, and measures of global cognition in combination with GM density of the PCC. This study indicates that brain deafferentation though the cingulum is likely to play a remarkable role in progressive development of cognitive impairment in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6870125PMC
June 2012

Neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive reserve in Alzheimer disease.

Rejuvenation Res 2011 Apr 4;14(2):143-51. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Cognitive reserve (CR), for which formal education represents a proxy index, has been claimed as a factor mitigating the clinical manifestations of Alzheimer disease (AD). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of formal education in modifying the relationship between cerebral grey matter (GM) damage and clinical manifestations in a large cohort of patients with AD or amnesic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). We recruited 22 patients with AD and 23 with a-MCI, and we classified them in subjects with high (HEL) or low educational level (LEL). All patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning at 3T. T1-weighted volumes were analyzed, using voxel-based morphometry, for GM investigation. A 1-year clinical follow-up was available for part of the a-MCI patients. There were no between-groups differences in clinical features, memory, and language functions. Conversely, HEL subjects performed better in all tests assessing visuo-spatial abilities. GM volumes of LEL compared with HEL patients were reduced in the supramarginal gyrus bilaterally and in the right posterior cingulate/precuneus and frontal opercular cortex. Conversely, HEL compared with LEL patients showed reduced GM volumes in the entorhinal cortices and temporal poles, regions typically affected by AD pathology. These results remained unchanged when including in the analysis of only patients with clinically proven AD (AD and a-MCI converters). This study suggests that CR produces selective GM changes that mitigate the clinical impact of AD. Moreover, it supports the idea that CR is based on several "brain reserves" rather than on a generalized increase of brain plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/rej.2010.1103DOI Listing
April 2011

Deontological and altruistic guilt: evidence for distinct neurobiological substrates.

Hum Brain Mapp 2011 Feb;32(2):229-39

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

The feeling of guilt is a complex mental state underlying several human behaviors in both private and social life. From a psychological and evolutionary viewpoint, guilt is an emotional and cognitive function, characterized by prosocial sentiments, entailing specific moral believes, which can be predominantly driven by inner values (deontological guilt) or by more interpersonal situations (altruistic guilt). The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a distinct neurobiological substrate for these two expressions of guilt in healthy individuals. We first run two behavioral studies, recruiting a sample of 72 healthy volunteers, to validate a set of stimuli selectively evoking deontological and altruistic guilt, or basic control emotions (i.e., anger and sadness). Similar stimuli were reproduced in a event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm, to investigate the neural correlates of the same emotions, in a new sample of 22 healthy volunteers. We show that guilty emotions, compared to anger and sadness, activate specific brain areas (i.e., cingulate gyrus and medial frontal cortex) and that different neuronal networks are involved in each specific kind of guilt, with the insula selectively responding to deontological guilt stimuli. This study provides evidence for the existence of distinct neural circuits involved in different guilty feelings. This complex emotion might account for normal individual attitudes and deviant social behaviors. Moreover, an abnormal processing of specific guilt feelings might account for some psychopathological manifestation, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6870139PMC
February 2011

Multiparametric MR investigation of the motor pyramidal system in patients with 'truly benign' multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2010 Feb 9;16(2):178-88. Epub 2009 Dec 9.

Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

One possible explanation for the mismatch between tissue damage and preservation of neurological functions in patients with benign multiple sclerosis (BMS) is that the pathophysiology differs from that occurring in other multiple sclerosis (MS) phenotypes. The objective of this study was to identify pathologically specific patterns of tissue integrity/damage characteristics of patients with BMS, and markers of potential prognostic value. The pyramidal system was investigated in 10 BMS patients and 20 controls using voxel-based morphometry to assess grey matter (GM) atrophy, and diffusion tractography and quantitative magnetization transfer to quantify the microstructural damage in the corticospinal tracts (CSTs). Widespread reductions in GM volume were found in patients compared with controls, including the primary motor cortex. A significant decrease was observed in the mean macromolecular pool ratio (F) of both CSTs, with no fractional anisotropy (FA) change. GM volume of the primary motor areas was associated with clinical scores but not with the CST parameters. The mismatch between F and FA suggests the presence of extensive demyelination in the CSTs of patients with BMS, in the absence of axonal damage. The lack of correlation with GM volume indicates a complex interaction between disruptive and reparative mechanisms in BMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458509356010DOI Listing
February 2010

Transient bowel ischaemia of the fetus.

Fetal Diagn Ther 2005 Jan-Feb;20(1):54-7

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, MRI Section, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Objective: To discover the different underlying conditions in 2 fetuses suffering from temporary bowel ischaemia.

Methods: Abnormal bowel findings were detected using antenatal sonography.

Results: The abnormal bowel findings disappeared postnatally. Transient ischaemia of the fetal bowel due to different causes has been advocated antenatally to explain the abnormal findings. When a normal blood supply to the bowel has been restored, either in utero or after birth, the abnormal findings disappear.

Conclusions: Whenever gut dilatation is detected in a fetus at risk of bowel ischaemia the possibility of a transient functional finding must be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000081370DOI Listing
April 2005

Progressive worsening of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) study with functional correlations.

Radiol Med 2003 Jan-Feb;105(1-2):2-11

Dipartimento Area Radiologica, UO Radiologia, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Purpose: To evaluate the usefulness of the high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) visual score in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and its correlation with respiratory function tests.

Material And Methods: We studied the pulmonary function tests and HRCT scans of 42 IPF patients, at presentation (T0) and follow-up (T1: mean 13.7 months post-diagnosis). Of the 42 patients, 21 had been treated with steroid and immunosuppresion therapy. The pulmonary function tests considered were vital capacity (VC), diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide (D(L)CO) and arterial blood oxygen partial pressure (PaO(2)). The main HRCT parameters were type of lesion, and site and extent, the latter calculated by means of the visual score.

Results: Between T0 and T1, both mean HRCT score (from 43.57% to 50.64%) and lung function tests worsened (VC from 68.43% to 64.18%; D(L)CO from 36.31% to 28.97%; PaO(2) from 76.31 to 68.89 mmHg), without considerable differences between treated and untreated patients. At presentation (T0), the HRCT visual score had a significant correlation with lung function tests and these correlated with one another. Similar correlations were found at T1, but not for HRCT score and D(L)CO. In the interval between T0 and T1 the variations correlated significantly with each other, with two exceptions: HRCT score and D(L)CO, and D(L)CO and PaO(2).

Discussion And Conclusions: IPF exhibited a progressive deterioration both in HRCT extent of disease and lung function impairment. There is a significant correlation between HRCT visual score and lung function tests both at diagnosis and at follow-up. The HRCT study is able to identify and quantify anatomic IPF and also to evaluate the progression of the disease. In clinical practice, the HRCT visual score of disease extent can be used in association with function tests to monitor IPF evolution, and to evaluate prognosis and therapy. In the future, helical CT with 3D model construction will provide a more precise IPF quantification with automatic score.
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June 2003